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For the tourist, last minute fares you can take advantage of for nearly free travel can mean anything from an emergency for you to traveling on standby, which is a favor for the airline. The purpose is to be able to get on a plane for the lowest possible rate, and with the least amount of lead time for you so that you don't have to buy your ticket 30 days, or 3 months in advance.

Traveling standby is probably the last minute fare brake that most of tourists have heard of even if you haven't tried it yourself. To travel standby all that you have to do is show up at an airline an hour before takeoff and tell the ticket agent that you would like to get a stand- by seat if one is available, and you will be put on a list. Don't expect this to work too well during holiday periods. The best savings will be on international flights, and the least will be on domestic flights. If you want some help in getting standby tickets there are a few brokers who specialize in this type of travel, information and you can give them a call to see what they can do for you: call Access at (212) 333-7280, or Airhitch at (212) 864-2000.

You can also get a big break on your tickets if you will allow yourself to get bumped from a flight, or buy a bump coupon from another a passenger who was bumped. Bumping happens when airlines overbook flights, which they often do, or some important person shows up who has priority over regular passengers. In either case getting bumped results in big savings. You can get another flights, possibly for free, and even a hotel room if you have to wait overnight, just see what the deal is that the airline if willing to give you for your seat. Using one of these bump coupons though requires that you get reservations only 24 to 48 hours in advance.

But let's say that you are the tourist with the emergency. Someone in your family died, or you just got an invitation to a wedding and need to get across the country in a hurry. In this case you go directly to the airline and tell them your needs. You will get a much better response on a death than a wedding, but try it anyway. For deaths the airlines have what they call "bereavement" fares, and you will probably be required to furnish a death certificate or documentation from a doctor. You will get an excursion fare price, which won't be as low as standby or bump, but will save you a lot of money anyway over a regular fare. The best airlines to go to for bereavement fares are Continental, Northwest, and US Air.

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Travel cubs also specialize in last minute air travel. They take care of the work of finding the standby tickets and big last minute discounts, and all that you have to do is join in order to get all of their information. Here are 6 that are worth a call:

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Encore Short Notice (800) 638-8976
Last Minute Travel (617) 267-9800
Moment's Notice (212) 486-0503
Stand-Buys Limited (800) 255-1488
Vacations To Go (800) 624-7338
Worldwide Discount Travel Club (305) 534-2082

Find Your Dream Vacation

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The easy way to fly first class FREE while paying coach fare - something airlines don’t want you to know about. While this isn’t something you have full control of, it’s something a tourist needs to know about if you want the opportunity to have a free upgrade.

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If your flight is canceled, you are changed to a smaller plane, you're forced to miss a connecting flight, or they divert your flight to another airport, you are entitled to compensation. Legally the airline is only entitled to put you on the next available flight to your destination. But if that also includes an upgrade to first class, then they can’t charge you for that either. While they may just put you on a bus to your original destination, make sure that you ask if any first class seats are available on the next available flight, and offer to accept them in order to get your destination.


While this sounds silly, it is one of the best ways for most of us to get free trips and hotels.

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Everyone, so it seems, has credit cards. And you know, if you just spend $100 a month over 10 years, you have spent $12,000 for the privilege of having that credit card, and nobody even thanks you. Wouldn’t it be better if you had a couple of trips to Hawaii, or a trip to Europe, as a reward for sending all of that cash to the credit card company. Well you can have exactly that if you want to. All that you have to do is get one of the credit cards, VISA and MasterCard, that works with the airlines and you got travel miles for your dollar purchases.

The whole point of this is to get you something for nothing, and getting something in return for money you are already spending qualifies just fine in that category. The usual credit is one mile of travel credit for each dollar on your credit card bill. You may even get bonus miles for signing up and transferring money onto the card, and cards sometimes run specials where you get multiple miles for new purchases. In any case this is ideal for the person who doesn’t travel very often, maybe because their money is all tied up in credit cards, but would like a nice free trip every couple of years.

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Here is a list of frequent flyer plans for credit card users. Just contact some until you find one you want to join and fly for free.

Air Canada En Route Card (800) 361-8253
Alaska Airlines Seafirst VISA or MasterCard (800) 924-9911
America West Ranier National VISA card (800) 247-5691
American Airlines Citibank AAdvantage VISA or MasterCard (800) 433-7300
Canadian Airlines Royal Trust Bank MasterCard (800) 266-1717 or (416) 620-7587
Continental Airlines Marine Midland VISA or MasterCard (800) 624-6600
Northwest Airlines Worldperks Bank One VISA (800) 435-9696
TWA Chase TWA VISA (800) 325-4815
United Airlines First Chicago Gold VISA or MasterCard (800) 421-4655
USAir NCNB Classic Card or Visa (800) 872-4738


Save up to 90% on any airfare from these ticket wholesalers just by calling the phone numbers listed below. The ticket agencies listed normally sell their tickets to group travel companies but also sell to the public. The source of the tickets is the airlines themseleves who use the agencies to get rid of surplus tickets (its better to fill a seat at half price then fly empty), or to move large blocks of tickets to keep their volume up. After all, you can’t keep a route open if you don’t fly planes on it, and for that you have to have passengers.

Allied Travel Center (213)410-1141
Air Kit (213)482-8778
Air Services (213)854-8570
British European Travel (800)747-1476
C and H (213)387-2288
Canatours (213)223-1111
Council Travel (213)208-3551
Jetway (800)421-8771
Bargain Air (213)377-2919
Euro-Asia Express (800)782-9625
CL Thompson Express (415)398-2535
Char-Tours (800)323-4444
Planewrap Tours (818)989-1187
Sunbeam (213)483-8363
Sunline Express (213)877-2111
ANZ Travel (800)525-8397
Cheap Tickets (800)234-4522

tourist information .gif FLORIDA
International Travel Club (800)248-2582
Interworld Miami (800)331-4456
Coral Gables (800)323-3218
25 Travel Inc. (800)252-5052

Hudson Holiday (800)323-6855
Interpacific (312)853-2700
McTravel (800)333-3355
Overseas Express (312)262-4971
Union Express (312)565-0125

Old Country (800)386-2743

ITA Eagan (800)482-8747

Unitravel (800)325-2222

tourist information .gif NEW YORK
Access International (212)333-7280
Airlink Travel (212)867-7770
Ameropa (718)522-1000
Council Charter (800)223-7402
Destinations Unlimited (212)980-8220
Maharaja Travel (800)223-6862
TFI Tours (800)727-6606
Travac (offices all over) (800)872-8800
Up & Away Travel (800)876-2929

Tailor Made (513)791-2784

Pacific Gateway (503)294-6478
STT Worldwide (503)641-8866

HTI (215)629-9997

tourist information .gif TEXAS
Airvalue (800)527-8448 (800)482-8282
Katty Van Houston (800)528-9826

Fellowship (800)446-7667
Trans Am (800)822-7600

ATBI (206)771-2527
Marco Polo (206)621-0700
Pacific Gateway (206)624-2228
Sun Makers (800)841-4321


This document is free for your use along with the report on travel guides. Write to tourism department from each state and they’ll send you a packet of free maps, brochures, tourist attractions, and postcards. This report will save you time in deciding where to vacation. You will received plenty of information about each state and their top attractions. By using this information you agree to indemnify the information at this site against any consequence or loss.

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